Angie Carter Our childhood rests in the barns and hillsides at the end of a long Iowan history in which small family farms were still successful, or at least manageable. My younger brother and I grew up in Montezuma, a small town of eighteen hundred in central Iowa, during the 1980s. My memories manifest themselves as moments of that landscape: the swirl of funnel clouds whipping across a dark-green July sky, the stubble of broken and dry corn stalks after harvest, the weathered red of collapsing barns, the fog settling along the creeks in early winter, the spring calves wobbling after their mothers. Our time there corresponds to the worst years of the farm crisis, the hardest time for rural Americans since the Depression. The price of farmland inflated at record amounts during the 1970s. Farmers borrowed cheaply to purchase the expensive machinery they needed to farm more land, finding assurance in high land and crop prices as well as expanding foreign markets. Interest rates went up in the early 1980s and the land and crop prices fell. Foreign markets disappeared and pushed prices even lower. Those farmers who didn't go bankrupt borrowed more money and hoped things
River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative – Ashland University
Published: Mar 11, 2005
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